While the number of service providers is increasing, a majority of businesses still deal with physical goods, selling, buying, trading, producing or using them. These physical goods which may be raw material, semi-finished goods or finished goods, are a cost or investment for the business. Only when the raw material or finished goods are sold, does the business make money. Hence it is necessary for a business to keep accurate records of the goods it has in stock, called the inventory. There are several advantages of having a proper inventory management system, and some considerations for choosing the right system for managing inventory are discussed below.
Businesses are investing their money in purchasing raw material or finished goods, and if they are not selling these items, they cannot convert the goods into money. So it is important for a business to stock goods which they can sell easily to make a profit, and avoid stocking items which they cannot sell. Having a software which will provide details of the different items which are ordered,in stock, along with the sales will help the business easily identify the items which are quickly sold.
They can use this information to ensure that the fast moving items are always in stock, replenishing the stock and also try to find additional suppliers.
In case of warehouses having the right software for inventory management, will help save time and money. In addition to identifying the goods and quantity available, the software will also have a provision for specifying the locations where the goods are being stored. This will help the staff quickly locate the item when an order is received, so the staff does not have to spend time searching the warehouse for the item. Using the software the business can improve the cash flow, ensuring that money is invested in items which are sold quickly. Customer preferences are always changing, and the software can help identify the trends in the customer demand.
One of the main factors which should be considered while choosing the software for managing inventory is the type of business. Usually the software is integrated with other software depending on the type of business. For example in factories and manufacturing businesses, the software will be integrated with the manufacturing software, while for retail or trading businesses, the software will complement the billing or sales software. So for retailers when any item is sold, the item quantity in the inventory is automatically reduced. For warehouses, the inventory software may be integrated with the logistics software.
Types of inventory.
Usually the term stock is used to refer to finished goods which can be directly sold to the customer. Inventory is a more comprehensive term which also includes raw material, work in progress for manufacturing companies, packaging material, safety tools, supplies, spare parts, tools,other items kept in stock for repairs, and other items. Usually the software will help to keep track of the inventory daily, and it is compared by checking or counting the physical stock periodically, in some cases weekly, monthly, and other cases once a year
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